I try to get Christmas shopping finished early. I usually take advantage of my “free” time on Columbus and Veterans’ Day to shop ‘til I drop. Sounds great, right? Not when you have a determined five year-old in the mix.
In 2008 Barbie released The Diamond Castle DVD. We made the purchase and added it to the collection. About a year later I found a Barbie named Liana from the movie at Big Lots for $10 so I purchased it for my daughter.
(Background information: There is a series of Barbie animated movies that go straight to DVD. About one new movie is released each year. Then Barbie mass markets the dolls, playsets, accessories, books, etc., until the next movie is released.)
Fast forward to October 2010. I asked my five year-old, Jenna, what she wanted for Christmas. She said The Diamond Castle playset and the other Barbie from the movie named Alexa. I visited several different stores. Nothing. Then I go online to shop. I soon discovered that the castle originally retailed for about $95 but is no longer in production. It now goes on eBay and Amazon for up to $350 new, about $200 used. Barbie Alexa is going for about $50.
Are. You. Kidding. Me?
We already have other Barbie castles in the basement. In fact, I learned that the Barbie Twelve Dancing Princesses castle that we originally paid about $40 for is now going for $150 on eBay. These things are cheaply made…probably for about $5 in China.
So I put together a plan that included my husband and eight year-old daughter who is “in-the-know” when it comes to Santa. First we visited several stores so Jenna could show me The Diamond Castle playset. When we couldn’t find it, I told her it wasn’t available anymore.
Then, we all went to Costco where we saw the Barbie airplane, and convinced Jenna it was the coolest Barbie toy ever. I purchased it the next day and stashed it in the super secret hiding place.
I thought we were good-to-go until a few weeks ago when Jenna said, “Mom, I know that I can still get a Diamond Castle playset for Christmas because Santa’s elves can make anything.”
Yikes! She out-smarted me on that one. I changed the subject to the absolute awesomeness of the Barbie airplane.
Then on Tuesday night, at an office family Christmas party with Santa Claus as the guest-of-honor, I got another whammy.
After a chat with Santa, Jenna reported that Santa said the elves were working on her Diamond Castle playset and Barbie Alexa.
“What about the Barbie airplane?” I asked.
“I want that next year mom,” she replied.
Dang that Santa Claus!
After conferring with several family members, friends and associates, we devised a plan.
One of Santa’s elves would call Jenna and leave her a voicemail message. He would tell her that when Santa returned to the North Pole after the party he told the elves that he needed a Diamond Castle playset. However, Santa didn’t know that the elves weren’t making Diamond Castle playsets this year. So Santa told the elves that Jenna had been a very good girl, so to make her some other really cool toys that he would be deliver to her house for Christmas morning.
I recruited a co-worker to perpetuate this white lie to my daughter as “Joey,” an elf at Santa’s workshop. With script in hand, he called the house and left the message.
That night, we told Jenna that we had received a call from the North Pole. She was very excited as she listened to the message from Joey-the-elf. In fact, she was so excited that it took three times of listening to the message and then further explanation from me to help her understand that The Diamond Castle playset wasn’t going to happen.
And guess what? She was okay with it because she knew Santa was loading up his sleigh with other good stuff for her. Mission accomplished!
I was feeling like mother-of-the-year for resolving this issue in such a fine manner. Sure, it took some lying and deception. But hey, it was all in the spirit of Christmas.
Of course that feeling was short-lived. Today, on the way to her Christmas concert choir rehearsal, Jenna said to me, “Mom, I think Santa is bringing me a Barbie airplane from Christmas. And a princess kitchen.”
“What?” I responded, slightly panicked. “A princess kitchen?”
“Yes, mom. I had to add that to my list because they aren’t making The Diamond Castle playsets this year,” she continued. “And I KNOW that the elves are making kitchens because I’ve seen them in the stores.”